Parent Administers Life-Saving Drug Test

28 09 2006

While both employers and schools have done it for years, more and more parents are now are getting involved.  In some cases, it’s made all the difference.  At 14, Ben Peterson was playing football and getting good grades.  When he started withdrawing from his family, his father took notice.  Ben had been smoking marijuana almost every day and had even moved on to cocaine.  His father, who had no clue what was happening, typed in his son’s symptoms on the internet and said everything he saw, pointed to drug abuse, so he ordered a home drug testing kit on line.

Ben’s father administered the test and he failed badly.  His father said at the time of the test, there was enough cocaine in Ben’s body to kill him.  His dad took swift action and put his son on 30-day lockdown.  It worked, Ben, now 16, got clean and he still is.

Some of his classmates are subject to random drug testing at school.  A 2002 Supreme Court ruling allowed public schools to drug test kids involved in extracurricular activities.  At Ben’s high school that means about half the student body is tested every year.

Reaction among parents over testing has been mixed and the ACLU is staunchly against it.  Dan Viets with the ACLU said, “It’s a degrading and humiliating procedure for someone who has done nothing to even suggest that they have broken the law.”  

For the Petersons, doing their own home drug testing was a life saver.  Mike, Ben’s father, said, “We won, that’s all I can say.  We’re winning; we’re still continuing to win.  I don’t foresee Ben will ever slip up, but if he ever does, I’m going to catch it, and we’re going to deal with it. This boy is going to be a success.”   
 
Don’t be afraid to test your kids, said Mike Peterson.  The benefit is that you’re able to confront the problem in the privacy of your own home without the stigma.

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